The clumsy individual is a longstanding and traditional figure of fun, although this often masks the distressing and incapacitating nature of such problems.While clinical accounts of motor difficulties featured in the scientific literature throughout the twentieth century, it is only relatively recently that detailed consideration has been given to the particular needs of this population. Burgeoning interest in this field has led to a proliferation of terms to describe this condition, which has not always resulted in conceptual clarity.Terms employed include: developmental dyspraxia, minimal brain dysfunction, perceptuomotor dysfunction, sensory integrative dysfunction, apraxia, physical awkwardness, developmental coordination disorder and the clumsy child syndrome. For many lay people, ‘dyspraxia’ is the more recognisable term.Derived from Greek, dys is a prefix meaning ‘bad’.‘Praxis’ relates to ‘the learned ability to plan and carry out sequences of controlled movements in order to achieve an objective’ (Ripley et al. 1999: 1).This emphasis upon planning highlights a strong cognitive element that impacts upon motor skills and coordinated movements.